Monday, June 30, 2008

De-Tauping, Part Two


Nation Building in America
I'll freely admit I was seduced by the name of the new paint I used in the kitchen, "captivating cream." How great is that? It fits nicely with the "dancing green" in my office, and "windy blue" in the living room doesn't it? Unfortunately Mr. Bruce is not as captivated as I am, but he's trying. He thought the other was just fine thank you very much. It seems I change colors about every four years. At one point it was bright, and I do mean bright, yellow with a sunflower theme. My boys were aghast at that color which after a few years was replaced by the taupe. It is so clean and fresh now, I'm loving it. I started on Saturday morning and painted the eating area while listening to public radio. Maureen asked how long it took and my reply was that I listened to "Car Talk", "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me", "Weekend America", and "Marketplace".

After a few hours interruption I'm back. My neighbor came over to pick out two photos for her dining room then I went over to see some of her new plants. While there I saw something so fun, I can hardly wait to photograph it. Angela is 41, and still has her childhood Scrabble game from Great Britain. The board is green folks, wait until you see it. As well, she has her old Monopoly Game with all the London addresses. Way cool.

While there I got a phone call from someone who bought three prints from me at last weeks time share market. On their way back to Long Island all three somehow flew out of the car along with my card. The resort got back to them with my name and number and I'm puzzling about how I can help them. They are willing to pay full price again, but I feel sorta bad. Never a dull moment!

I worked out my sales tax due for the quarter and I'm shocked at my sales for the last three months. Things are bound to slow down, but golly, last year at this time I sold on average $300 a month--this year on average $2200. Can you believe it? You've been with me all along this journey....

Mike just picked up the disc with the cabin photos; I hope they find some that they like. I almost forgot to give him the keys! They've just returned from a two week trip to Amsterdam, Paris, and Sweden, and are still suffering jet lag. Turns out it doesn't get dark until 1 in the morning with daylight resuming around 3:30! He said he found it hard to go to bed; I'm imagining if we were there I'd still have no problem sleeping.

Drat--I missed Matt's call again, a recurring theme it seems.
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Listening to: Coldplay - God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
via FoxyTunes

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Listening to: Coldplay - The Scientist
via FoxyTunes

Friday, June 27, 2008

More Daisies




My latest challenge--trying to get a good shot of a red daisy I purchased this morning at Publix. It seems crazy how many tries it takes to get it right. I suppose if I was really something I'd have special lights etc. but as it is I try to use natural light when I can. These daisies have no interest in standing upright I can tell you that. There were five in the bunch and all of them bow down if you will. This is not a shot I'll be able to sell but I found it interesting and hope you do too.

That's one of my discoveries, people love daisies. They especially love daisies when you can present them with extreme contrasts. This one is still a work in progress.

Maria came for lunch today and we had such fun. Our intention was to go to a restaurant up the street, my treat, as she's been so helpful to me, selling my canvases and purchasing two herself. I'm so thrilled I met her, not because of the aforementioned, but because she is such fun. When she arrived I said, "what do you think of BLTs?" She said, "perfect, let's stay here." I normally never entertain without prior planning, but it worked because she is so easy to be around. Her life has been completely different than mine except for one thing, we both have four children. Now that may sound sorta silly these days as all of our sons are men, but they'll always be my children to me. We've both been blessed to be moms.

Remember how I said you never know what will happen next? It's so true. I thought this week had been fairly uneventful compared to some but I'm now thinking I've brought some happiness into another's life. I received an e-mail from some folks late this afternoon regarding a picture of their dog I took at the market. To make a long story short, I found it after some searching, bringing a bit of joy with the discovery. Apparently the dog has had surgery since the photograph. The dog's had recent surgery on his legs and the woman remembered the dog as running when I shot the pictures. she was right--some of them were blurry, but I found a few that seemed to work for them.

I'm feeling very bad for our Dave right now--being a stock broker can be a good thing, but then again, it can be pretty challenging.

Mr. Bruce has arrived home wanting to take me on a date--who could resist that kind of offer?


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Listening to: Bird, Andrew - The Naming of Things
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Resident Snake


I imagine most yards have one of these black snakes, I know Lisa has one that hangs around her yard. The only place I ever really see it is on the front porch when he (?) travels from one bed to another. The mat in the foreground was out drying from yesterdays terrific storm. After some strong winds the rain began with intense thunder and lightening, really some of the loudest booms I've heard in a long time. As is usually the case, it cleared up nicely by the time Kristen came to get me for dinner. We used to work together at the hospital and have kept in contact. After much deliberation we went to a nice pizza place on Church Street . Turns out it was $3 wine night with refills for ten cents. The amazing thing was that they served nice wines for that price.

I've gotten over my crankiness, thank you very much. So far today I've taken Baxter for a nice walk at a local park, did some necessary shopping, mowed the lawn, and cleaned the pool. Not bad huh?

It's that time again--another calendar contest for the City of Orlando. Thank you to my editors for helping me choose the three I will enter. I'm going to deliver them to City Hall shortly. Although we'd been looking out for a notice, neither Maureen or I had seen one. Fortunately I picked up a little local paper on Saturday with the announcement. I immediately went out to shoot some pictures; because the neighborhood is only about two miles from me it was no problem. When I enter these contests I obviously hope to be picked, but the first step is choosing the correct photos to enter which can prove difficult. We'll see what the judges think in a few months.

As well, I applied for the Winter Park Autumn Art Festival yesterday. It's all done online for many shows now, and again when you are sending in three images it is so hard to choose. I've no real expectation of getting into this show, but I figure because people are always asking me if I've done Winter Park I can say I tried.

Bruce should be home from Connecticut in a few hours--yeah.

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Listening to: Blur - Tender
via FoxyTunes

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Listening to: Blur - Girls & Boys
via FoxyTunes

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Listening to: Blur - This Is A Low
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Day for Ranting


I've calmed down now but I was pretty worked up earlier today.

Baxter woke me at 5:15 this morning to go out so that was the end of sleeping for me. On Saturday Bruce helped me organize my desk a bit and in an effort to keep it clean, I started right off on some mail. I now need to save my mortgage bill, cell phone, utilities etc. which I'd always thrown out in the past. So many things to do when you have a small home based business...but I digress. Most of our bills are paid automatically so I often don't even look at the paper trail but today I did. What a mess.

Somehow the mortgage company didn't take out enough to cover the mortgage, thus would not apply any to my payment. You don't want to know how many numbers I punched to get things sorted out. The customer care representative (an oxymoron if I've ever heard one) suggested that I should send the additional $47 by overnight mail if I didn't want to hurt our credit score. I got no sympathy from this particular fellow regarding their mistake. I promised I would send a check in overnight mail but turns out I'm breaking my promise. Guess how much overnight mail costs to Kentucky? $16.50!!! I refuse to pay that for their error. Forgive me Bruce if our score goes down, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. One of the many people I spoke with ensured me that she had closed my recurring online payment; I'll be turning it over to our credit union and to hell with Chase.

When I opened the cell phone bill I discovered I'd gone over by 50 minutes resulting in a bill more than twice the normal amount. This forced me to re-think my 300 minute plan. Furthermore, my two year plus old phone has not been holding a charge for even a day which Bruce had been trying to get me to replace. It's now a done deal..I even have a camera on my new one. I went into the store and told the salesman I wanted the simplest phone they make. In a rare moment of praise today I will mention that we live in such a great place--one mile away from everything a person needs including a phone store. No high pressure, just a simple Samsung phone with the car charger thrown in and a new one year contract for 600 minutes a month. Good deal.

Lastly, a letter from the hospital said that they've tried twice to get payment from our insurance company for the scan I had in April. I called the insurance company first (with minimal number punching--yeah) and the nice young woman told me they'd never received a bill. I dreaded calling the hospital billing department but I mustered my courage and did it. You guessed it, they were sending it to the wrong place. You would hope that after all the bills I've accrued there, they would get it right, no such luck. Stay tuned. While I'm on the topic of the hospital Lisa saw something on the news last night that stated around 10,000 Americans go without a diagnosis every year. Do you think that because I'm on my second year I'll be counted twice? How do they come up with those statistics anyway?

Yesterday morning I was up early as well, meeting a customer at 6:30 to photograph the flower you see. She'd sent me an e-mail telling me her neighbor had a night blooming cactus and thought I might want to take its' picture. Lately I've had about three people mention this bloom to me so I wanted to see it in person. Sunrise is around 6:30 here but apparently it does not dry up until around 7:30. I trooped over there with my hair wet from the shower to see it. It really is an amazing sight seeing an ugly (to my eyes) big cactus with four of these sticking out from the sides. I believe they only last a few days if that many. At any rate, it was very cool. I took some other arty ones however, I hoped you'd enjoy the two bees coming in for a landing.

Tomorrow I'm sure I'll be cheerier, hopefully I'll be able to report that I've got the external hard drive all figured out.

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Listening to: Annie Lennox - Lost
via FoxyTunes

Monday, June 23, 2008

Make Friends with Bruce Peck


More Things Can Happen than Will Happen

Bruce and I took a trip down memory lane late last week while talking about North Carolina. About twelve years ago, Bruce and Jonathan went on a hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail with a group of folks from the church. He went searching for the pictures and came across a narrative one of the women wrote about the trip. It was really marvelous reading about their adventure. What really rang true though was what she wrote about Bruce. She marveled at the way he was able to start the camp fire when everything was soaking wet from the torrential rains they'd hike through. Her comment was "if you ever go hiking in the N. Georgia mountains make friends with Bruce Peck." The truth of the matter is that if you ever want to do most anything that requires skill and patience, Bruce is your man. I'm so glad I made friends with him 42 years ago!!!

While talking with Jonathan about it he said, "did she mention how Dad had to carry my pack most of the way?" I replied, no she just remarked your cheerfulness. Later I told Bruce about it and he said, no, he didn't carry Jon's pack but he did empty most of it into his letting Jonathan retain the pretense of hiking with a full pack. What a dad!

Maureen is my first convert to Lottery . She also read in almost one sitting. When we talked about it today we both felt like it's a story that in theory sounds so sappy but in the reading is wonderfully life affirming.

I had a very nice long chat with Matt yesterday afternoon. The market shut down several hours early due to a weather threat that never materialized. Fortunately some early folks made it worth our time. Because I was home so early I had plenty of time to catch up on all his doings. He'd returned from a short trip to New York city on Tuesday morning after seeing two great new exhibits there. As well he got to visit with friends. We chatted about his birthday gift and he's as stymied as I am.

The new external hard drive arrived today, not that I actually know what to do with it, but it's here nonetheless.

Maureen and I visited a farmer's market on Saturday morning--it's well established with a great reputation. I'm here to tell you that our market is now able to give it a run for its' money. It's really astonishing to see what a passionate manager can do for a project. Dana is so responsible for the bigger crowds we have, as well as the quality of the offerings. She won't let just anyone in, but she does believe in making it like a mall. Thus, I now have several photographers to compete with each week, but that's ok. If I'm good, people will still be interested in my stuff. Folks have suggested I quit going, at least through the hot summer, but I feel like the market is directly responsible for my success. Of course, it's really Mr. Bruce who got this whole thing going as a diversion from my illness. We never really planned it out, which we now see wasn't too smart, but it seems to have worked just fine. For now the plan is that as long as he'll set me up each week, I'll go. He's been heading home as you know to either rest, do stuff around the house, and unfortunately more often than he'd like, catch up on his e-mail. His workload right now is overwhelming.

I'm thinking that today's song might work for the mother/son dance at the wedding--what do you think?
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Listening to: Womack, Lee Ann - I Hope You Dance
via FoxyTunes

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Listening to: Womack, Lee Ann - I Hope You Dance
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Capping Off the Week


For the second week in a row I've mowed the lawn on Friday morning, something I'm delighted about. I've done our yard for years because I've had more time to do so than Bruce. Because I've been mowing lawns since I was about 12, this has always been a breeze, until I got sick that is. After months of being unable to keep up with it, we hired a yard man. They use big tractors to cut the lawn in about 10 minutes, something that takes me around 35 when I'm doing well. This method however leaves big ruts in the grass which are particularly evident once the rains have started which is NOW! Remember I told you we were there....it's been raining cats and dogs every day now, a welcome sight because not only does the aquifer need it, but it helps to bring down the temperature, thus reducing air conditioning bills. After the last two hours of rain the temp is only 72 degrees at 4 in the afternoon. As I was saying, I decided to give it a go again and I did just fine.

When I left to go to the Polasek reception last evening it was pouring, making me wonder how many folks would brave the weather. Bruce, unfortunately, was not able to get back to Orlando in time to accompany me. I did however run into Professor McNair, my former humanities teacher (three times!) at Valencia. We ended up hanging out together the entire time. It was really nice with a large tent set up on the spacious patio, wine (donated by Darden), food, and conversation. I'd gone with no expectations regarding the awards, and didn't actually pay attention when they began announcing them. I was chatting with another woman who used to teach history on public television in Miami. Imagine that, I was chatting. I did manage to hear I didn't win the best in show which didn't surprise me in the least. A bit later a woman came over handing me a $25 gift certificate to a camera store in town (Harmons for the curious amongst you) for third place in the flora and fauna category. Can you guess which one of mine placed?

A big week for the fledgling photographer here, what with a published photo, unexpected sales, and a third place finish--not bad. Wonder what next week will bring?

Jonathan and Alissa moved successfully yesterday--I am totally proud of them! When I chatted with him their last hurdle was putting their very large cat in the carrier and taking the train to their new place.

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Listening to: Black Box - Everybody Everybody
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, June 19, 2008

You Never Know


Everyone who knows me well knows that when I like something I'm not shy about trying to convince everyone I know to share my enthusiasm. As such, I've already tried to convince about six people to read Lottery . Talking to Lisa yesterday I found out that not only is Danny still good, but she has the aforementioned book in her stack to read from the library. Naturally, I suggested she begin immediately, and I suggest you do the same.

In that same vein my enthusiasm for Mr. Roger's work has convinced several other folks to begin using his services. I've just returned from picking up some new stuff from him; the other night I went through my baskets removing things that have been languishing. Eventually they may sell, but I'd rather take the loss for now, and move on. That is definitely one of the hardest parts of the whole thing--figuring out what will appeal to people. As you know I've talked about emotional response, which still is key but, for some people it is decor, or aesthetics, or for that matter, what visitors to their homes will think.

I'm so pleased to show the picture today--my second published photo. It definitely was awesome that I am near the front of the book! The professor in charge of it, whom I met yesterday, was very nice; she had me sign five copies for when I become famous. Fat chance!

So yesterday I delivered the canvas, went to pick up the book, and then to a framing place. Steve, the owner of the Siesta Key condo where we went to the party, ordered a large picture for his living room giving me carte blanche as far as framing is concerned. I'm here to tell you that custom framing and matting is very expensive! Hopefully Steve will be pleased with the results. Did I mention that custom framing is excessively slow as well?

Bruce should be arriving home shortly from his trip--yeah! We are going downtown for food, and in a surprise move, a photography show. Really, tonight is Third Thursday, meaning lots of galleries are open. Although I have nothing going this month I'd like to see who does.

As the title of the post and the song make clear--you never know. Each day something new comes up unexpectedly making this crazy life of mine pretty exciting. Ruth has linked me to two new photography contests to enter which I'll have to get on pretty quick if I hope to have a chance. She's always looking out for me.

Back to the reading stuff. Before I began going to school, taking photographs in earnest, and blogging, I read every day. As well, flickr was stealing too much of my time. My current activities have really cut into my reading, a situation that I'm in the process of rectifying. Because the daily rains have begun in earnest I've spent more time in the afternoon reading.style="font-style:italic;">The New Yorker fiction issue came about two weeks ago. All the stories were marvelous, but the one by Annie Proulx was simply amazing. I've also just completed a book of short stories by a Russian emigree, Lara Vapnyar, entitled, There are Jews in My House--excellent.

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Listening to: Dave Matthews Band - You Never Know
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Stayed Up Way Too Late Reading.....

Lottery
Some writers can take sappy material and turn it into gold--this novel fits the bill. I began reading around 10 and didn't quit until I finished.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sometimes I Lose Track of the Date


You probably find it hard to believe that I stay busy, what with not having a real job, but I seem to. As you know I've been back at the Polasek and today found me there. It has been interesting to see people's reactions to the photo show. I eavesdrop a bit to hear if they have comments on mine and since they are in the front gallery I don't have to try very hard.

After returning I received an e-mail from a young man wanting to buy one of my big canvases he saw at Sunday's market--how about that? He's giving it to his partner for a birthday gift. Let's all collectively say SWEET; I guess sitting out there in the suffocating heat pays off sometimes!

Bruce left this morning for a few days...boohoo!

Yesterday I spent quite a while searching for some specific pictures. I've probably not told you yet that our market manager's son's girlfriend of thirteen years, was killed in a horrific auto accident on Memorial Day. We've all been quite sad about it and as you can imagine her son is beside himself. In the last months I've taken several pictures of Lindsey, and their dog Bella. Unfortunately, I'd taken lots of my market photos out of my library and was lucky to find one for which Dana was very grateful. It makes me terribly sad that three people I've photographed in the last six months have died. I'm so hoping the photos I've provided bring happy memories to their loved ones.

I'm hoping that when I talk to Lisa next her response to how Danny is doing is as positive as last weeks news. To date he's not suffering terrible side effects from the radiation.

I've realized this week that Matt's birthday is coming soon--July 5 to be exact. It's hard for me to believe he'll be 32. What, pray tell, shall I get him for his birthday? I'll get on the shipping this week which may be too late, the title today says it all....I do lose track of the date.

Another stumper...Michelle e-mailed me about what song to dance with David at the wedding. That sentence is constructed horribly, but I can't think of another way to put it. I do love to dance, but a specific song does not come to mind.

My friend, the columnist at the Sentinel, reported on his trip to Iceland. He's a witty guy...describing how an earthquake, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale, forced his tour to spend time in a shelter. He says it was not one of their planned excursions. He had nothing but praise for his hosts, and the trip in general. Have you ever wanted to travel to Iceland? Me neither.

Jonathan sent me a link to Amazon to purchase an external hard drive making the deletion of photos a thing of the past. I've also bought a card reader, and Bruce got me an extra USB port thing. Don't you find that increasingly everything has to be charged? This technological life has it's downsides.

Today's photo is from the Maitland Art Center--I took it months ago and have always meant to share it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Raspberries


For the last several days I've been trying to get a wonderful shot of raspberries. I know you are thinking, how hard could it get. Well, turns out pretty hard. What I've learned over the last year or so is that unless you've got some strong contrasts in your subject it is pretty hard to get it right. Furthermore, working with my new camera is proving challenging because I have to get comfortable with it. Actually the raspberry project is helping as I try different lighting situations,and camera settings. That said this is my first attempt of many.

I've been having lots of problems connecting to my blog of late leading me to waste time trying to share with you. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I get frustrated. Because it's been quite a few days I really wanted to catch up only to have the "beach ball" whirl away meaning there is some hold up. I spoke with Jonathan about this a few days ago and he recommended I try it on Safari rather than my customary Firefox. It worked beautifully, don't ask me why. At any rate here we are....

In the last few days I've got my hair highlighted, Baxter's been groomed, I've done the market, photographed raspberries--oh yeah, I mentioned that didn't I? As well, I've cooked a number of good dinners, and setting a record, Bruce has been home every night for two weeks!!! I guess not technically home because of our trip, but you get the picture. Cooking dinner for the family on Father's Day was good.

Speaking of fathers, our neighbor asked me the other day what did I think contributed to our boys seeming success in life. I immediately answered their dad. Fathers get more of their due these days, or rather I should say they are often more involved in their children's day to day lives, which only time will tell if that's a good thing. Bruce has always worked more than most dads; the construction business demands it. When you get to Bruce's level the pressures are great, and there is no such thing as a regular work day, or week. That said, he somehow managed to set an excellent example of what it means to be a good man. As well, his love for me, thus my having overflowing love to give to our children, had to have helped. I will say that when folks ask about our sons, I usually reply, so far so good. That answer still works.

In the photography part of my life I want to report that the State of Florida, Department of Environmental Protection office will soon be showing off not one, not two, but SEVEN of my photos in their lobby. Yes, you read that right, thanks are due to Ruth and Pat. Secondly, The Phoenix, Valencia's literary magazine is published and I'll be picking up my copies on Wednesday.

I've got clothes on the line which I'm going to check on now, our summer rains have been making their appearance about this time of day lately, although thankfully not yesterday at the market. In a real Father's Day present to Bruce, I packed most of our stuff due to a lightening threat before he arrived in the afternoon. Everyone kept asking if I'd called him to tell him we were shutting down early but I knew he'd be there for me.....he always has.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Picasa Web Albums - Gail - North Carolin...

Picasa Web Albums - Gail - North Carolin...

Picasa Web Albums - Gail - Chicago 6/12...

Picasa Web Albums - Gail - Chicago 6/12...

Slideshows

Now you see what I saw. Forgive me if you've been to Chicago and taken all these same shots...

*Bruce caught and released that little rainbow trout in the stream he's wading in.

*Me (without a bit of makeup!) at the Cole House, the nicest restaurant in Andrews, NC


Now you see what I saw. Forgive me if you've been to Chicago and taken all these same shots...

*Bruce caught and released that little rainbow trout in the stream he's wading in.

*Me (without a bit of makeup!) at the Cole House, the nicest restaurant in Andrews, NC where we enjoyed a lovely dinner on our last night in NC.

*When the rain was coming the fog comes in and you'd think there were no skyscrapers all around you.

*River City Condos is the building Jonathan and Alissa are moving to this month. She is suffering from a stress fracture in her tibia it seems requiring a boot for the next six weeks. That will be not only miserable for her but complicate the move for sure.

*Obviously the Chicago Stock Exchange taken with David in mind.

*The gardens surrounding the Art Institute of Chicago are beautiful. As well, the purple field like is the Lurie Gardens in Millennium Park, a stunning place. I was thrilled to see blooms I'd never seen before. The world is filled with such beauty.

*I'm having to put them separately because I just couldn't figure out how to make it happen.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Popcorn and Chips Appetite Study



Today's title refers to a presumed health study advertised in Sunday's paper. Do you suppose they feed the participants chips and popcorn followed by a meal? Whatever...

While trying to locate The Rookery Building in Chicago I came across the amazing "Flamingo" sculpture in a downtown plaza. Please note that I also came across a farmer's market which runs every Tuesday. I managed to find the aforementioned building only to be told that I could not go upstairs to photograph the gorgeous spiral staircase. Apparently it is off limits unless one has a permit. On Monday afternoon I stumbled upon an architectural photography exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center (which is an absolutely wonderful building). The photo of the staircase was awe inspiring, thus my quest. Evidently it was not meant to be this trip.

David update: I don't feel so bad now because when I talked to Bill later in the day I discovered that David had not even told him about the VP business. Dave insists it's no big deal. Have I told you that Dave and Bill talk multiple times a day? It's the identical twin thing.

You may remember that I entered a photo contest at the Polasek...to set the record straight, no one from there judged the entries. Today when I arrived the installation was complete with fifty photos, including two of mine. I'm not sure what the judges were thinking because they picked EIGHT of the same sculpture. With approximately thirty sculptures in the outdoor gardens to choose from the judges showed a severe lack of creativity. I entered the less well known ones which seems to have been a mistake. It was frightful for Karen; she related that when she pulled them out of the boxes she was mortified. That's what you get when a camera store, and club, sponsor a contest. Of the two from me, one is a cotton plant with a bee coming in, the other is the lily pond with the amazing mosaic plant. Prizes will be awarded sometime during June. The photos hang in the gallery until the end of the month....something to put on my resume.

The summer rains may have finally arrived; as I type, the thunder and lightning are booming. Some people are frightened of storms but I'm so accustomed to them it doesn't bother me if I'm inside. The fact of the matter is we are desperate for rain so bring it on!

I know I've harped on Matt's influence many times because it is so pervasive even though he is an ocean away. I can't remember which Christmas it was, but I made a rib rub mixture for Bruce's workmates. The recipe came from an Atlanta restaurant cookbook from you know who. Jeff begged Bruce for me to make more, then got on the phone with me with his request. This afternoon I got it done which should be enough to keep Jeff grilling all summer long. Did I mention it is delicious?
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Listening to: Blur - Parklife
via FoxyTunes

Monday, June 9, 2008

Highlights


Hi friends, I'm back! I'll not bore you with all the details, but here are a few highlights, as well as some breaking news:

*Flying first class is the best, thanks honey. I particularly like getting on the plane first as I have a slight aversion to standing in lines.

*The Orange Line is a godsend for those staying near Midway Airport. There's a hotel shuttle that takes you to the airport every ten minutes allowing you to get on the Orange Line into the city.

*I finally understand what "The Loop" refers to--the elevated train that loops through downtown--awesome.

*Fabulous seeing Jonathan and Alissa, although our time together was limited as Bruce worked long hours (thus, no dinner date) and they already had tickets to see Death Cab for Cutie at the Pritzker Pavilion on Tuesday night. Far be it for me to interrupt a chance to see DC!

*I did get to meet many of Jonathan's workmates, see his cubicle, and some of the documents relating to projects he's working on. As well meeting the boss who praised Jonathan's work to the hilt was a treat. I'm sorry if I sound proud, but can't help it.

*Seeing Mr. Polasek's 15' sculpture in Grant Park. I'm sure you remember Mr. Polasek--the museum where I volunteer here in Orlando. You may recall he was the head of the sculpture department at The Art Institute of Chicago for thirty years before retiring to Winter Park. While visiting Matt in Chicago we saw a tiny bit of Grant Park, but this time I roamed it alone. Filled with great sculptures, as is much of downtown Chicago, I was astonished at how big it is. Furthermore the amazing Buckingham Fountain is gorgeous. Unfortunately it was raining allowing me less time to see everything.

*Great stuffed pizza.

*The cabin was wonderful, secluded, but still close to things. A lovely rushing creek runs behind the cabin; we fell asleep to the natural music. Hopefully they'll be pleased with my photographic efforts.

*Whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River was super fun. Before climbing into the raft I was a little nervous about being able to paddle etc., but it turned out to be great. The day was sunny and hot, allowing this warm blooded Floridian to enjoy the cold river when we were inevitably doused!

*Taking the scenic route back to Atlanta was lovely.

*Spending time with Bruce. Although he worked some, he did a pretty good job at curtailing his phone use. When you are a construction manager each day brings fresh disasters which Bruce expertly solves, but I did so want him to have a few days without having to go to the effort.

*Arriving home to find Baxter in excellent spirits.

*So here's the breaking news: I got an e-mail from Lisa congratulating David for what at the time I didn't know. After calling Michelle I found out he's been made a Vice President at SunTrust. I was astonished to find out it happened last week and he never called his Mommy and Daddy to tell them. I guess that means your children are getting independent which is a good thing. He is pictured in the business journal section of today's paper. Am I sounding proud again??? Forgive me.

*That's the abbreviated version of a week away, brace yourself, more may surface.

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Listening to: Bloc Party - Like Eating Glass
via FoxyTunes

Monday, June 2, 2008

We Interrupt this Regularly Scheduled Blog....

For a holiday! Before I go I just knew you'd want to know that I had my best one day ever on Saturday--just shy of $1,000. Unbelievable! Judy shared the historic day with me. I'll try and keep in touch some while we're gone but if I can't, please have a good week.

Past, Present, and Future